Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, is my everything.
I've been watching her cook beautiful spreads in her spotless—but not inaccessibly so—kitchen, and then throughout the pages of her books, for as long as I can remember. My best memories from middle school involve faking sick so I could stay home and lie in my parents bed, propped up on my elbows, mesmerized as she peeled potatoes effortlessly on the screen of their shoebox-sized television.
As I was finding myself as a cook (and an opinionated eater) in high school, I'd make her coconut cupcakes once a month. I don't dread New York winters, because when they come, I know it's the season to curl up with a bowl of her roasted tomato and basil soup. When I became a full-time recipe developer, I sat my boyfriend Nate down and told him, "You know, this makes you my Jeffrey now."
So, it should come as no surprise that she's blown me away once again. This time, with a video she posted yesterday to Instagram with the caption: "If you’ve been cutting cauliflower through the top and getting little bits all over your kitchen, I have a better way to do it!!"
Of course I've been getting little bits of cauliflower all over my kitchen every time I break up a head into florets. I have little bits of cauliflower stuck to my floorboard from 2015.
Here's her trick:
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If you’ve been cutting cauliflower through the top and getting little bits all over your kitchen, I have a better way to do it!! And once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be ready to make the Cook Like a Pro sneak peek recipe I’m posting next week! #BCprotips #CookLikeaPro
A post shared by Ina Garten (@inagarten) on
Essentially, she resists the temptation to hack at the top of the cauliflower head (or worse, go in from the side) to start cutting away bite-sized pieces—which almost always leads to a confetti-like spray of dismantled white scraps. Instead, she flips it over and removes the core of its stem, first. Then, she uses the tip of her knife to break away about a third of the head, and from there, cuts it into florets.
Cauliflower Korma With Blackened Raisins (Gobhi Korma) From Meera Sodha
Deeply flavorful, super-creamy korma, streamlined with a few smart tricks: Roast the cauliflower in the oven, caramelize the onions low and slow, mix up a spicy yogurt-based sauce, and roast raisins till they blacken (yes, on purpose!) to scatter all over the top.
Cauliflower Pizza Bake
All the makings of your favorite pizza—pepperoni! tomato sauce! basil! ooey-gooey cheese!—but on a bed of crispy roasted cauliflower. Serve with a crusty loaf and be glad it's dinnertime.
Ottolenghi's Cauliflower, Pomegranate & Pistachio Salad
Cauliflower appears in two ways in this dish—roasted and grated raw—and mingles with tarragon, mint, pistachios, and crunchy pomegranates. Some salty cheese, like feta or Parmesan, would not be out of place as an optional add.
Crunchy-Shell Cauliflower Tacos
The taco nights of your childhood are back—but remixed. Meaty cauliflower is roasted with chili powder until tender and flavor-packed, then piled into crunchy taco shells and topped with iceberg lettuce and cheese. Avocado, hot sauce, salsa, beans—add 'em all if you choose (or don't).
Priya Krishna's Bombay Toast With Roasted Aloo Gobhi
Shortcut, sheet-pan aloo gobi belongs between two slices of crusty, crispy bread, blanketed with melty cheddar cheese. Cookbook author, Priya Krishna, recommends using leftover sabzi for this type of sandwich, but it may be worth cooking up a fresh batch just for this.
Donna Hay's Pummelled Kale with Golden Cauliflower & Haloumi Croutons
Pummelled kale! Golden cauliflower! Halloumi croutons!!! This is a salad you'll never forget.
Do you have a favorite Ina Garten trick (or recipe)? Let us know in the comments!
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